Being a witch and all, I decided to sew her a power object... something with thousands of stitched iterations of intention. So I embroidered the word "Game" and my housemate chose the white rose to underscore it... a white rose with thorns.
"Game is a term used to describe a “design of action,” played with charisma and gumption, angled for a specific purpose."
- No resentment. It kills your game. Ditto self-righteousness. Doesn't matter if you're entitled to them. They will still kill your game. Focus on your part.
- “When people have inadequate information, they tell themselves stories.” This will kill your game, also… or else put you into the wrong game. One of the best things to do in ANY situation is to interrogate your assumptions. What do I actually KNOW about this person or situation? What am I assuming? On what are those assumptions based? Stories are based on previous data, prior trauma—sometimes generational, etc. When people resort to stories instead of collecting more information, they pretty much live the same story over and over. It’s good game to change the game.
- It’s not very good game to attempt to leverage sex appeal into anything at all. It usually is a dominance move on the part of the person who is responding to it, and for that reason it will never leverage into respect or promotion, and it is far more likely to morph into resentment and obstructionist behaviors. It’s good game not to ever identify with your appearance. Identify with your character and your intelligence. When they try a dominance move like noting how pleasant it is to have such a pretty boss, be able to say with honesty, "I have no idea what you're talking about." Which one of the very few moves you can make when they do that.
- Losing a round will often put you in a position to win the game. Your graceful or skillful comeback from a loss can set you up for success even more than winning an early round. It’s like ice skating in competition. They penalize you mostly for losing your focus, not for the fall itself.
- Lying and all its permutations are terrible game. That includes editing the truth, omitting pieces of the truth, glossing over aspects of things. People nearly always can tell when you are attempting to hide something or manipulate them, and often, even if they are not conscious of it, they will still register it on a visceral level. They won’t trust you. In my experience, once trust is lost, it’s over. It may take a while to play out, but basically, the game is over. Avoid doing anything that puts trust at risk. It’s not going to be worth it. When you lie, you forfeit your spiritual power. And when you do that, you are in a very dangerous game.
- True humility is a beautiful thing and it will allow all kinds of flexibility and options that rigid pride will not. False humility and false modesty, however, are not good game. They are a set-up. If you send a message that you are not aggressive or competitive or ambitious, people will resent it when your actions communicate otherwise. Be clear and upfront about who you are and that you are in it to win it. Then they will roll up their sleeves and engage. Unless they are weak and petty… but never cater to weak and petty people.
- Own your choices. Unlearn “But I have to…” Or “they make you…” Learn to start sentences with, “I am choosing to…”
- Trying to be one of the boys is not game. They love women who try this. They play along, laughing behind their sleeves the whole time. You will never be one of them. They will never for one second forget you are female. Own your gender and own the differences… which are significant. Men secretly respect loyalty to one’s own sex. What men approve of and what they actually respect are frequently two different things. Choose respect over approval.
- Learn to make friends with rejection. Practice makes perfect, so ask for things you probably won’t get, just so you can make friends with rejection. This is a discipline. And it’s fabulous game. See the next one down…
- Attempting to control or limit rejections is not game. Many women “protect” themselves right out of the game. Be ready and willing to hear “no.” Consider it a victory to hear no, because it means you asked! Great role modeling for other women.
- Avoiding other women is not game. Actively, aggressively look for the women. Ask them to mentor you. Cultivate friendships with them. Especially older women. We know things you can’t know, because we have been here longer. And help younger women. Never fear that your mentoree might supplant you. If they do, up your game.
- Lack of vulnerability is not game. The tree that cannot bend will break. Have safe people in your personal life with whom you can be honest. Share early and often. Do not share this stuff in the workplace. You are human, and if you are not sharing stuff that bothers you, I guarantee it will come out sideways to the wrong people and in the wrong places. This is an either-or. Either you get your issues out in healthy ways or they will find their way out in unhealthy ones. There is no such thing as healthy repression.
- Self-sufficiency is not game. It’s a total boondoggle and one that women frequently fall into, trying to prove that we are not weak and dependent. Interdependence and mutuality are big-time game. It’s how the boys got where they are. Make yourself practice interdependence and mutuality until they become habits. Ask others for help, advice, feedback, and access to resources. When people offer you something, there is NO GAME in refusing or only taking half. Receive with enthusiasm and gratitude. Yes, you will need to reciprocate… and that is how it is done. That’s The Game. People do not admire you when you refuse them. They pull away. They feel hurt, and they get very clearly that it is important to you not to need them, maybe even a source of pride. Terrible game.
- It’s never too late to correct impressions, set the record straight, confront something that made you uncomfortable, or take responsibility for something. It just takes communication skills and those can be learned.
- The best game in the universe is to be playing your own game, one that is about spiritual growth. Too many women get caught up in games not of their making or working for goals they really don’t care about. If you play your own game, even if you lose, that loss will be rich in meaning.
- “Rising above” unacceptable behavior is not game. Confront, big and small. When you “rise above” something, you are the only person who believes that is what you are doing. Everyone else sees you being victimized and letting someone off the hook (enabling). They also see you "acting like a girl." Which means acting the way the patriarchy would train and discipline us into doing. So, instead, do a functional confrontation and, if there is no accountability, detach. But do not “rise above.” Never “rise above.” Because none of us are “above.” The stronger, better players are direct and they confront. Women traditionally “rise above.” Resist the temptation.
- Never owning mistakes is miserable game. You are not your behavior and be so very happy that you are not. You can own mistakes with joy, with glee! You are not your behavior. And it frees up everyone else in the environment. They aren’t going to be identified with their behaviors either! Everyone can relax and make the mistakes that are necessary for creative and successful endeavors. Be a leader.
- Communication classes and assertiveness classes are good game.